Curfew in Srinagar, Kupwara
People Throng Markets During Evening Relaxation
GK NEWS NETWORK
Srinagar, Aug 29: Curfew continued to remain clamped in several areas of Kashmir on Sunday in response to the shutdown call given by the Hurriyat Conference (G). However, the restrictions were lifted in the evening as per the relaxation in the shutdown after 5 PM.
Police and paramilitary CRPF enforced curfew in areas of Srinagar and also in Kupwara and Kralpora towns. Siege continued in areas falling under seven police stations in Srinagar. These include police stations Khanyar, Rainawari, Safa Kadal, Maharajgunj, Qamarwari, Nowhatta and Batamaloo.
Police and CRPF, deployed in abundance, had sealed the roads and streets by barricades and concertina wires. The situation was relatively relaxed in the uptown areas.
Late in the evening, a paramilitary CRPF party, which was withdrawing after day’s deployment, opened fire on protesters at Habba Kadal, who staged protests and clashed with them.
Witnesses said the CRPF fired rubber bullets, injuring two civilians. Six policemen were also injured as protesters hurled petrol bombs towards them.
Earlier during the day, people in several localities of Batamaloo, Bemina, and Lal Bazar offered prayers on roads following which they staged protests against the killings of unarmed protesters by police and CRPF.
In uptown Hyderpora and Budgam town in central Kashmir, restrictions were imposed on civilian movement. However, hundreds of people took out a protest rally at Budgam and its neighbouring areas including Chooru and Khan Sahab, raising pro-freedom and anti-India slogans. The protesters atop buses and trucks marched through several areas.
In the afternoon, the shops and businesses establishments opened while the traffic also resumed on roads. As per the Hurriyat’s protest programme there would be a relaxation from 5 PM onwards in strikes till August 31.
Strict curfew was in place in Kupwara town for the third consecutive day today. After yesterday’s protests and violent clashes, authorities imposed curfew in Kupwara and several towns like Panzgam, Rawathpora, Bhatpora, Rishigund, Dardsun and Kralpora. Forces had closed all the roads connecting Kupwara and other curfewed areas. The forces didn’t allow the civilian movement. Locals said even patients were not allowed to be taken to hospital.
Police and paramilitary CRPF, locals said, entered into Anwarabad and Sulkoot localities and thrashed the residents.
Several persons including Ghulam Nabi Payar of Sulkoot, Bashir Ahmad Malik and Gulzar Ahmad of Sulkoot were critically injured as they were beaten up ruthlessly by CRPF. They were admitted to Kupwara hospital.
“They (CRPF) thrashed us without any provocation and broke the glass panes of our houses,” residents of Sulkoot said.
Locals said it was the CRPF personnel who triggered the trouble first, and provoked the people to come to streets as they resorted to stone pelting on residential houses and thrashed the locals.
“Highhandedness of police and CRPF has reached its peak in Kupwara. If it continues we shall be forced to defy the curfew and take to streets,” they said.
Witnesses said police and CRPF beat up Atif Ahmad Bhat, a constable (belt No. 1860) in Fire and Emergency Services at Khonchipora, Tangmarg, in Kupwara Chowk today. “He showed them the identity card but they didn’t relent and kept beating him,” witnesses said.
Massive protests erupted in Handwara town against the arrest of several youth by police. In the morning, hundreds of people including children and women staged protests against the detention of five persons by Handwara police.
Eyewitnesses said that police used brute force on the women seeking release of the youth. The police triggered strong protests in the area. Protests were continuing till late evening in the area with people demanding their release.
The locals alleged that policemen thrashed mercilessly several women who were staging peaceful protests.
Violent clashes erupted here in North Kashmir’s Bandipora town. Though restrictions were imposed in the town and police and CRPF men were deployed in strength, youth took to streets at various places early in the morning and pelted stones on the police and CRPF men at various places in the main town including ward 2, 3, 5 and 6. They also pelted stone towards CRPF camp located in Main Chowk Bandipora.
Reports of protests were also reported from Hajin, Sumbal and Niadkhi townships of Bandipora.
In Varmul town, intermittent protests broke out at Cement Bridge during the day.
In the evening when the markets opened, youth pelted stones of CRPF at Main Chowk and Tehsil point. The forces fired several rounds of fire in air triggering panic following which the shopkeepers again downed shutters.
Reports of protests also poured in from Pattan and Palhalan localities. The angry protesters blocked roads and pelted forces with stones.
Violent clashes erupted in this South Kashmir town on Sunday. Youth took to streets at various places and pelted stones on the police and CRPF men at various places of the old town including Sherbagh, Reeshi Bazar, Cheeni Chowk, Malakhnag, Mattan Chowk, Dangerpora and Lal Chowk. They also attacked the Sherbagh police station with stones. Police and CRPF men retaliated by lobbing tear gas canisters. Several people were injured in the clashes.
Earlier, clashes also erupted in several civil line areas of K.P road including Khanabal, Naibasti, Laizbal, Gulshanabad and Gaziabad. Several police and CRPF personals sustained injuries as youth resorted to heavy stone pelting on them at Laizbal.
The paramilitary CRPF personnel also smashed the windowpanes of several houses and also a Masjid at Ghaziabad. People also offered prayers on the roads and later opened the shops after 5:00 PM. Reports of clashes were also received from Bijbehara and Sangam Nainoo. In Qaimoh and Kulgam youth organized pro-freedom demonstrations and clashed with police who retaliated by lobbying tear gas canisters. Clashes also erupted in the evening.
Reports of protests and clashes were also received from Pulwama, Kakpora, Pampore, Awantipora and Tral townships. In Pulwama a policeman of IRP was severely thrashed by the CRPF men after he objected to their unprovoked beating of several youth.
“The CRPF men without any provocation beat up several who were playing cricket. When a policeman of IRP intervened, he too was ruthlessly beaten up by them,” eyewitnesses said.
People also offered prayers on the roads and later opened the shops after 5:00 PM.
A police statement issued here said that the situation across the valley remained “peaceful except a stray pelting incident at Habba Kadal, Chota Bazar in Srinagar and Palhallan, in Varmul.
It said five persons were arrested in Handwara who were part of a group of protesters “intimidating” the shopkeepers in the town who had resumed the business activities in the main Chowk Handwara and were forcing them to closedown their shops. They beat up many of the shopkeepers and ransacking a few shops.
Police swung in action and arrested five of them. They were identified as Ghulam Mustafa, working in Fisheries Department presently posted at Kokernag, Waseem Hassan Banday, a forest Guard posted at Baramulla, Mushtaq Ahmed Banday also a Forest Guard posted at Natnasu, Kupwara, Saleem Yousuf Banday and Manzoor Ahmad Banday both students.
A DSP was injured in the incident.
SAJJAD LONE SPEAKS
The chairman, J & K Peoples’ Conference, Sajad Lone today strongly refuted the claims of police that it had arrested five people who were enforcing a shutdown at Handwara during the relaxation in the evening.
Police said Ghulam Mustafa Bandey, Wasim Hassan Bandey, Mushtaq Ahmed Bandey, Salim Yousf and Manssor Bandey were arrested and termed them as “miscreants” who were forcing the shopkeepers to closedown the shops.
“All these persons are respectable citizens of Handwara town and their only crime is that they are the sympathizers of the J&K Peoples Conference,” Lone said. “The J&K police have let loose a reign of terror and are harassing, arresting and torturing young boys. It is sad that the local cadre of the National Conference has taken upon itself to play the role of the notorious Ikhwanis, who are glorified informers of the present era,” he said.
Lastupdate on : Sun, 29 Aug 2010 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Sun, 29 Aug 2010 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Mon, 30 Aug 2010 00:00:00 IST
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